Bad start for new Bishop - though not his fault

The new Bishop has made a bad start - although it is not his fault. The blame lies in the person who leaked the news before it was released officially by the Holy See.
The public had been waiting patiently for over two years for the news, and when it happened, it is done in a messy kind of way.
This was no ordinary event. Bishop Caruana had handed in his resignation on the grounds of age, so the long search had been going on for a replacement.
It took so long to find a replacement because this was said to be a very sensitive decision to make. Sensitive for whom?
If it was so sensitive how come it was leaked to selected media the day before?
Those in the know were the clergy who were informed a week ago. So, directly or indirectly the leak must have come from that area.
The next day, when the long-awaited news was officially announced, it sounded hollow.
The Holy See, said the official announcement, has announced that the Holy Father Benedict XVI has appointed Father Ralph Heskett as Bishop of Gibraltar.
Of course, the media is not to blame for making use of a leak.
It was Mgr Charles Azzopardi who had emailed the media early in the week that the Bishop was calling a Press Conference for yesterday. So, it was to him that we addressed our thoughts in the first place, not because we thought he was responsible for the leak, but because he had organised the Press Conference.
In fact, when we contacted him, he expressed disappointment that details had been made public ahead of the Press Conference.
Yesterday, we made the point that we realised from our conversation the day before that this was not of his doing but someone ‘in the know’ had obviously seen fit to leak the information to selected members of the press.
We had intended to send a reporter to the Press Conference but in the circumstances it seemed a superfluous exercise, we told him, and asked that
our dissatisfaction on this affair be passed on to the Bishop.

19-03-10



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